Pilates for back pain
The most essential thing that those who suffer from back pain can learn is awareness of the neutral alignment of the spine and the strengthening of the postural muscles to support the alignment. For those people with back pain caused by the degeneration of discs and joints, or poor posture, a Pilate’s exercise program can be beneficial to easing the problem.
Most back problems are caused by bad posture; this can be sitting, walking or standing. This causes us to lose strength in our postural muscles over time and gets worse until eventually you cannot even correct your posture if you want to. Pilates is an exellent form of exercise to remedy this problem too.
What is Pilates?
The Pilates method is a form of exercise that focuses on using the core postural muscles to help keep the body balanced and support the spine. It is a method that teaches awareness of breathing and alignment of the spine. In helping to prevent and alleviate back pain the system also strengthens the deep torso muscles.
While Pilates is a simple form of exercise you shouldn’t underestimate the impact that it can have, Pilates can help to develop support for the deep postural muscles of the trunk. It brings an awareness of the importance of neutral alignment and leads to the shoulders and hips being suppler.
Pilates has roots in ballet and dance and as such some of the movements used in the system can be particularly challenging and difficult, however there are some exercises that can be learned and practiced at home between guided sessions. As when beginning any new form of exercise it is important that you seek the advice of your doctor before commencing, the instructor guiding the Pilates session should also be qualified.
One-on-one sessions may be the answer
For those who have significant back problems it may be advisable to have a few one-on-one sessions with an instructor qualified in Pilates and especially in treating those with back pain. While this is more expensive than attending a class it can be worth the extra expense to learn the exercise correctly by having one-on-one guidance.
While the exercises in the Pilates system should challenge you mentally and physically, they shouldn’t cause you to struggle with them. If an exercise is causing you pain then it could be that you are not performing it correctly or it could be too difficult a position for you. You should make sure that you never put too much excessive stress on the intervertebral discs and avoid mental or physical fatigue.
As a general rule those suffering from back pain and attending Pilates should never perform any exercise that pushes the spine into extremes of extension or flexion. Side bending movements and twisting of the spine should also be avoided. As with most forms of exercise, it will take perseverance and some time spent attending classes before you will see any major improvements.